VIDEO: What to do with your old Christmas tree

  • Breaking
  • 07/01/2014

The town of Weidenthal in southern Germany has found the perfect answer to what to do with old Christmas trees, now that the festive period is over.

They all go on a bonfire - but not before being used in the highly competitive world Christmas tree throwing championships.

The 'Knutfest' literally throws out the old season and welcomes in the New Year.

It all stems from a Swedish tradition which celebrates the life of an 11th-century Danish king and saint, Knut.

60-year-old Weidenthal resident and event organiser Herbert Laubscher explained:

"The tradition of the Knutfest comes from Sweden. There was once Saint Knut. He lived from around 1040 till 1100. He was a saint and king of Denmark. Late in his life he was murdered and 20 years after his death he was declared a saint. The Swedish made a tradition out of the story and so they celebrate Knut every year on 13th January. They throw out their Christmas trees to celebrate the end of the Christmas season and at the same time celebrate the return of daylight."

The invitation to the Knutfest is a simple one.

Just bring along your old tree - minus the decorations and lights of course - and see how far you can throw it.

There are three disciplines in the competition - 'Weitwurf' (javelin-style), 'Hammerwurf' (hammer-style) and 'Hochwurf' (high jump-style) - with the overall world champion declared after a total distance has been calculated over the course of the day.

There was plenty of beer and Gluhwein (mulled wine) available to participants and spectators alike, and more than 1000 people braved the frosty conditions on Sunday (5th January) to watch the 12th edition of the championships.

48-year-old Frank Schwender from the nearby town of Frankeneck was the three-time reigning champion going into the competition, but his reign was brought to an end by 34-year-old Rudiger Kaas from Kassel in central Germany.

At the end of all the action, the crowd watched a firework display and it was 'auf wiedersehen' to the sports equipment, which all went up in flames.

Then the prizegiving... and the dancing and drinking.


source: newshub archive

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